The Shang Dynasty had its first ruler by the name Cheng Tang, a warrior who controlled China from 1600 BC to 1100BC. Tang was defeated by Xia Dynasty rulers, a dynasty that can be described as lacking a historical record. The Xia dynasty was also overthrown by Zhou Dynasty that reigned to around 221 BC. For over 500 years that the Shang Dynasty was ruling, the kingdom was centered around the Yellow River Valley with a population of over 13.5 million. There were 33 kings, called Wangs, starting with Cheng Tang who was at the top of the social scale. The dynasty was extremely hierarchical and patriarchal whose power was held in a supreme manner that was supported by the royal family. Other categories of people in support of the dynasty include the warriors, nobility. Priests and government officials. The various classes lived in cities that were surrounded by walls where the social class was considered as the privileged and enjoyed finer things in life. Silk clothing flower gardens, good food and splendid homes was a characteristic of those in the social class. On the other side of the cities, there were merchants and craftsmen who were involved in trades but at the end of the day went back to their mud huts.
An expert analysis of the warring period in China shows that there are still disputes on the years that were covered. However, there are significant events, conquests and history on how the events took place. The Warring States Period is characteristic of an era of division after a relatively peaceful dynasty rule. The period followed the philosophical spring and Autumn where there were a number of states that were at war before the Qin state came about and conquered the region. At the end of the period, china was reunited under one ruler of the Qin Dynasty. The Warring period took place towards the end of the Zhou Dynasty era. The instability of the region was characteristic of a time when the kingdoms were fighting for territory after a declaration of independence from the Zhou Dynasty. There were seven states namely Qin, Wei, Qi, Chu, Han, Zhao and Yan. In 221 BC, the Qin Dynasty emerged victorious and therefore marking s transition from the ancient China into an Imperial China.
The two periods are significant of a disintegration that took place in China and culminating into a single rule. However, the various rulers of the period played critical roles in shaping the Imperial china under a single ruler. The ancient history of China is examined from the various rulers through the dynasties in shaping the leadership. From a period of tranquility into an era of divisions, China as a state can be examined through the historical events significant in forming a united country.
The Archaic/Classical Greece versus the Hellenistic Age
The Archaic period in the history of Greece took place between 700 and 480 BCE, lasting around two hundred years. One of the significant events that took place in the period was a recovery and organization of the political city states. The city-states, were also referred to as Polis and were made up of residents, laborers, and foreign residents. The composition of the social organization can be described as complex and therefore required the development of a governing system with an advanced legal structure. The purpose of the legal structure is to ensure that there is a smooth coexistence between the different class in society. The system is also meant to establish a status of equality despite the differences in economic status. Two hundred years later, the democratic principles observed are still evident in Athens. The main reason for the existence of the democratic principles is a spread of the Greek city-states that were forming the archaic epoch all through the Mediterranean basin. The spread was through a process of vigorous colonization in which the major city-states grew immensely in size. The coastal towns developed and established settlements as a result of the immense trade that was taking place. There were hundreds of trading posts established and therefore forming an expansive network of commercial towns that advanced civilization during the era.
The Hellenistic age was characteristic of the transformation that took place in Greek society. The society was moving from a localized and introverted city-state into a cosmopolitan that was open and exuberant of culture permeating into southwest Asia and the larger Mediterranean. A number of different caliber of people were included in the Hellenistic world where the Greek mores, lifestyle, and way of thinking were dominant features in the public culture that constituted the era. Other areas in which transformation took place were literature, art and the preoccupation of the people. The classical era gave way for an era where the independence and autonomy of individual cities could have the large kingdoms under a single ruler existing in a harmonious state. The empire ended up being controlled by generals as Alexander did not leave any heirs to the throne. A major problem that was observed involves the common enemies who were fought together but on the other hand the empire also had its own infighting trying to establish power. the result was the three major kingdoms remained after the strife that followed Alexander’s death in 323 BC. The kingdoms were in place for over the next three decades.
An analysis of the Roman Empire
The Roman empire was once a state with many cities that were in the Italia Peninsula in the fifth century BCE and became the most powerful empire across the world in the first century CE. The republican period in Rome was characterized by offices and institutions whose main role was the prevention of any single person from becoming too powerful. The systems began to disintegrate in the first century CE but Rome was able to gain its empire by expansion off citizenship to a majority of the region that it conquered. Economic development was the main agenda of military expansion that would enslave people and repatriate them back to Rome. The result was the formation of Roman cities and culture. The disintegration of the Roman empire into the many city-states was attributed to the lies that the political institutions had developed from history. The expansion of the Roman empire, culture and influence into larger regions came with the political institutions that were more adaptable and resilient and therefore included diverse populations.
The fall of the empire means that the central state could no longer be in a position to exercise its broad power. The empires were large and complex which means that the collapse of the imperial means that control was relinquished due to economic, environmental, political, social and cultural issues in the empire. The main cause was however the impact of the civil wars which from a political perspective made the kingdoms difficult to manage under a single ruler. The growth of the empire meant that many people fell into poverty after the long periods that they served in the armies overseas. On returning, they found out that the farmlands previously owned were already taken by their neighbors who were wealthier. Further, there was an intensifying crisis in 123 and 122 BC when Gaius was murdered after being elected to a tribune. The tribune was responsible for the introduction of radical legislation that included a state subsidized corn rations that did not auger well with the masses. The violence that marked the middle years of the first century BC between the gangs supporting rival political programs and politicians contributed to the fall of the roman empire. In a nutshell, the rise and fall of the roman empire cannot be attributed to a single reason but a wide range of factors that culminated into a separation of the city states for ease of establishing political power. From the onset of the roman empire, there were political divisions that reflected the society, from the patricians, the plebeians. the wealthy elites and the common people. The emergence of new political forces can be attributed to the collapse of the empire and the abolition of the councils that governed the empire as a united political entity.
Ambler, Tim, Morgen Witzel, and Chao Xi. Doing Business In China. Taylor & Francis, 2016. Print.
King, Margaret L. Western Civilization: A Social And Cultural History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print.
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